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Flying South

Wine, cheese and monuments

SOUTH AFRICA | Saturday, 25 January 2014 | Views [287]

First stop today was Haute Cabriere, a small winery in the Franschoek wine valley. This place is the home of the Pierre Jourdan range of sparkling wines along with its own range of Pinot Noirs, Ratafia (really sweet pre dinner white) and a Chardonay Brandy. Our clear tour/tasting was conducted by Achim von Arnem, the Cellar Master and Chairman (although currently handing these duties over to his son) who told us a great deal about the history of champagne making along with some seriously wonderful anecdotes about the winery and his family. As designated driver I only took a brief sip of each of the six wines made available for tasting but they were all very enjoyable. Amy got to participate during the tour as one of Achim’s specialties is opening champagne bottles with a saber, for which he requires with each bottle the assistance of (and a kiss from) a pretty girl. Amy dutifully stood her turn and got to wing the sabre under Achim’s guidance. For doing so she was later ‘knighted’ and received the cork from her bottle mounted on a small presentation stand. If you would like to know more about Haute Cabriere their website is www.cabriere.co.za After the tour had finished and we had all taken the chance to purchase some of the produce, we quickly headed off to our next appointment, Fairview Winery (www.fairview.co.za). This is another small winery that also makes it’s own cheeses, including goats cheeses. The restaurant is aptly named the Goatshed, as indeed goats may be found around the site, particularly near the entrance where there is an enclosure where the goats have a tower in the middle. Think Rapunsel but with clean white goats! (This place even does a ine called Goats do Roam!) The food was excellent and the cheese board I shared with Deb for dessert contained some definite delights, although it also had one not so great cheese too in the ten we got to sample. We were so impressed with the cheeses that we rushed off after lunch to the on-site shop and brought a selection to go with the wine we’d purchased earlier. I’m definitely looking forward to supper tonight. Our final stop of the day was at the Afrikaans Language Monument near Paarl. This imposing monument was officially opened on the 10th October 1975 and commemorates Afrikaans being declared an official language and a separate one from Dutch. The aim of the monument seems to be to strengthen Afrikaaners sense of identity and their pride in their native language. I will be posting some pics later but I’d suggest you google it anyway as you’ll probably get more of an idea of the symbolism contained within than I could impart to you here. The view around the monument were also pretty special, looking as they do across the valleys to the mountains on most sides. I’d have to say this place is definitely worth a visit for the views alone, even if the object of the monument seems a little strange…

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